I’ve been painting fulltime since I left Greymouth High School at 17 so that’s 40 years now!
While I had qualified for Art School at the end of 1977, I decided to spend a year working to finance my studies; jobs were scarce in Greymouth at the time and I had a few commissions, so I began painting full time and had my first exhibition at the end of that year. It sold out and I never made it to Art School – I’ve just been painting ever since!
I exhibit in galleries throughout New Zealand and in the UK, USA and Australia and my work is held in collections worldwide. I’m an artist Life member of the NZ Academy of Fine Arts for which I served four years as President.
Although predominantly an oil painter I also work in pastel and watercolour. My paintings are known for their attention to detail whether in panoramic view or intimate study, the effect of light and atmosphere are my major focus.
Ecological themes have always been a common subject of my paintings. Feelings about a time in a place or landscape inspire me; the experience or memory that come together to create the meaning of my being there, the search for who I am and my connection with that environment is what drives me to paint. A kind of distillation of concept, emotion and the play of light. From that place I feel compelled to share something of the experience, and hope I may also inspire the conservation of our beautiful planet. The implications of this intensely personal connection with the land have increasingly become a major feature in my work.
“This meticulous artist has a rare talent of being able to combine an exquisite use of light with brilliant and subtle colours; the results speak more eloquently than we are able to in our description.” – Max Beer, Lewis Paape Gallery
I live amongst the wonder of nature, with my wife Kate, at ‘Hou Ngahere’ in the Marlborough Sounds (South Island) that we’ve covenanted with the QE II National Trust to return the farmland back to native forest. We also grow some olives and lavender for their oil. Our oil won a gold medal at the NZ Lavender Growers Awards in 2010.
Being the son of a Methodist minister Spirituality has always played a role in my life. I have been following a Buddhist path since 1993 and for the past ten years have been a student of the Diamond Approach with Sandra Maitri in California. This deeper search for meaning has always been a central driver for my paintings.
“Ian Hamlin’s exhibition at the Bealey Gallery is a marvellously seductive experience – a procession of luscious realist art which becomes entirely therapeutic. Hamlin’s paintings are invested with a luminosity and strength; the perfect foil for his impeccable technique.”
Christopher Moore, Arts editor, The Press 2004
This is me and my dog Kuri overlooking Cook Strait…..
if you want to purchase a painting, calendar, lavender or olive oil – just contact me here, it’s easy! cheers: